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Why do Netflix stars fail to succeed when starring in tvN and KBS dramas?

Actors who got their breakout roles through Netflix series struggle with TV channel dramas. 

tvN’s drama “Mental Coach Jegal” quietly ended on November 1 with its highest rating (2.5%). Only 5 out of 16 episodes exceeded 2% in ratings. These days, public and cable channel dramas are considered timely hits if their ratings manage to exceed just 5%.

Read also: 4 lowest-rated ongoing K-dramas: Two are led by male idol-turned actors 

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Lee Yoo Mi became a global star thanks to her supporting roles in Netflix’s original series “Squid Game” and “All Of Us Are Dead”. However, this time, landing a lead role in “Mental Coach Jegal” sadly didn’t bring her much buzz compared to her previous works. 

Lee Yoo Mi played Cha Eul, a former national short track speed skater, a promising gold medalist who overcame the trauma and slump that plagued her and regained her self-efficacy. This sounds like a fresh and fun character. It was a good opportunity for Lee Yoo Mi to portray a strong and independent female character.

Lee Yoo Mi

However, even though “Mental Coach Jegal” was relatively advantageous in terms of material and genre, it could not avoid the low ratings. Of course, the writer and director are to blame, but neither Jung Woo nor Lee Yoo Mi can be free from the whole work’s underwhelming performance. Even if the ratings are low, there are many dramas that receive good reviews, but the same does not apply to “Mental Coach Jegal”. 

Like Lee Yoo Mi, Park Ju Hyun hit a jackpot on Netflix, but she failed to achieve the same success when it comes to terrestrial TV dramas. She appeared as Bae Gyuri in Netflix’s original series “Extracurricular”, which was released in April 2020, and even got the nickname of a monster rookie.

Park Ju-hyun

After “Extracurricular”, Park Ju Hyun starred in KBS 2TV’s Monday-Tuesday drama “Zombie Detective”, which ended with a rating of 2%, and KBS2’s “Love All Play”, which ended in June of this year with average ratings of only 1%. “Love All Play” never even exceeded 2%. Fortunately, tvN’s “Mouse”, where Park Ju Hyun played a high school student who didn’t know where to go, was well-received and recorded 6%.

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This difference in the buzzworthiness between OTT, cable, and public channel dramas is due to the distinct differences in the way viewers interact with dramas and also generation gap. There is a difference between those in their 10s-30s who barely watch TV nowadays and those in their 40s-60s who are still unable to abandon TV and move to OTT. This trend is expected to continue for some time. This is because young viewers who have become accustomed to OTT will not return to plain terrestrial dramas that are subject to various restrictions. Dramas that successfully narrow this gap, such as “Extraordinary Attorney Woo” and “Alchemy of Souls,” are expected to hold cultural power.

A PD from an outsourced production company said, “Although public channel TV producers are well aware of this situation, casting is increasingly difficult, so we have no choice but to select a rookie whose popularity has been verified by OTT as the lead. They are stars on OTT, but in the living room, there are voices saying, ‘Who is that main character?’ and ‘I don’t know any of those actors who play male and female characters these days’.”

Source: daum

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